Ralph Reed, Lobby Hobbyist

The Supreme Court is about to hand down a ruling on whether the privately owned “Christian” company Hobby Lobby should be exempt from Obamacare’s mandate that employees provide contraception to their employees. Hobby Lobby lawyers tell the Supreme Court that providing contraception to employees goes against the company’s deeply held religious beliefs.

David Green who owns Hobby Lobby is worth more than $5 billion.
David Green who owns Hobby Lobby is worth more than $5 billion.

So, we wondered if Hobby Lobby’s “deeply held religious beliefs” also included providing paid maternity leave to its employees. After all, if you want your workers pregnant, certainly you’d be willing to join the rest of the industrialized world by paying for the mother’s eight or so weeks with her newborn. Certainly Hobby Lobby CEO and founder David Green, whose net worth is north of $5 billion, could afford to offer paid maternity leave.
Alas, Mr. Green’s Hobby Lobby doesn’t want to pay for maternity leave either. Here’s what we found from an anonymous Hobby Lobby employee who wrote four years ago…

Why does such a successful business not provide BETTER maternity leave for their employees? I’ve been with this company for almost 8 years and work myself to the bone … but yet I’ll have to take my vacation that I have worked so hard … in order to still be able to get paid when I do take maternity leave. .. I just feel that such a “Christian company” would look after their faithful employee’s a lot better. I don’t feel that I’m asking for much, but some payment for maternity leave is better than nothing if it means that it will keep food on the table. Thank you for your time.

During this week’s Working Families Summit, President Obama drew attention to our nation’s dismal record on providing for newborns and their mothers by telling his audience…

“There is only one developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave, and that is us… And that is not the list you want to be on — on your lonesome. It’s time to change that.”

The Supreme Court will rule on Hobby Lobby any moment now. Corporations we are told are people, so we’d like to think a company WHO calls itself “Christian” would behave like a good Christian. A good Christian would worry about the health of a mother and her newborn by providing paid maternity leave, especially when you refuse to pay for her contraception.

Hobby Lobby refuses to pay for its employees contraception or maternity leave.
Hobby Lobby refuses to pay for its employees contraception or maternity leave.

Which brings us to another Christian corporation Ralph Reed whose hobby as a lobbyist has earned him millions.

Ralph Reed is the Born Again Christian with a boyish face who just missed going to jail a few years back when investigations into Lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s Indian Casino scandal exposed Reed as an inveterate Washington insider whose lobbying efforts were just on the cusp of illegal, certainly they were deceitful

Reed got his start in the 80s as one of the prime shakers of the Christian Coalition breaking down the separation of Church and State. At this week’s Faith And Freedom Conference, Ralph Reed incited right wing domestic terrorism by promising to, and I quote “raze” the I.R.S. building in Washington D.C. He talked of “killing” the I.R.S. and leaving the IRS building “in rubble” as a “monument to future generations” about the importance of liberty.

Quick Fact: When asked if Jews should pay taxes Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Jesus believed in paying taxes, but apparently Ralph Reed knows better than Jesus.

Ralph is all smiles, but underneath it all Reed is sending out a dog whistle telling his evangelical faithful to act against our government. Homeland Security should take note of this. And we should all remember Andrew Joseph Stack III, 53, of north Austin, Texas who flew his single-engine fixed-wing Piper PA-28-236 into an I.R.S. building in Austin, Texas killing himself as well as several other IRS employees back in February of 2010.

Ralph Reed smiles as he incites violence.
Ralph Reed smiles as he incites violence.

Stack left behind a screed attacking the IRS, especially the tax code, and said he had been left with no choice but to use his plane to set things right. This was an act of domestic terrorism, incited by right wing charlatans like Ralph Reed who demonize the I.R.S. to score political points and money.

Muslim leaders have been questioned by the FBI for suggesting far less. Flip the script: had Ralph Reed been a Muslim leader, not a Christian leader, he’d be put on a watch list and brought in for questioning. Instead Ralph Reed rakes in millions as a lobbyist wandering the very halls of congress he so wantonly incites his followers to attack.

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